Sugarfree Grape JamĀ (Scrucchiata)

By Emiko
September 25, 2014
14 Comments


Author Notes: You'll be surprised at just how incredibly sweet a sugarless grape jam can be. Scrucchiata is used like any other jam, lathered on toasted bread for breakfast or dolloped on top of a plate of ferratelle or pizzelle -- Abruzzo's answer to waffles.

These are traditionally made with autumn's bountiful harvest of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo grapes, but Concords are a great substitute. If you can't find Concords, use any delicious black grape.

This sugarless version, while very traditional, doesn't last as long as those made with sugar, which is a preservative. If you're looking for a way to conserve this jam for longer, feel free to add sugar to the recipe -- about 1 cup (200 grams) of sugar per 2 pounds (1 kilogram) of grapes. Add the sugar to the jam after the first two hours of cooking, or when the mixture is already reduced and dense.
Emiko

Makes: 1 pint of jam

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds (2 kilograms) black grapes, such as concords

Directions

  1. Rinse the grapes well and pull the stems off. If your grapes have seeds, squash them one by one between your thumb and forefinger, and they should pop out. Place the seeds in a bowl until you've gone through all of the grapes. If you have a food mill (known as a passaverdura in Italian), push the seeds through one to get every last drop of juice and flesh out and discard the seeds (you can also slightly mash the flesh/seeds with a mortar and pestle and then strain the seeds out). Place the skins, juice and the rest of the flesh in a heavy-bottomed pot. If using seedless grapes, simply place the rinsed grapes directly in the pot.
  2. Place the pot of grapes over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. They will make their own liquid, so there is no need to add any water. Give the grapes a little stir here and there to help them along.
  3. Simmer the grapes for about 2 hours, or until the volume reduces by half to two-thirds. Pass the grape mixture through a food mill or simply squash the grapes with a potato masher until you have a thick, creamy, rustic jam. It may still be too runny at this stage, so put it back on low heat for up to another hour, or until the mixture reaches a thick jam-like consistency. Remove from heat and seal the jam in sterile jars. Store in a cool, dark place, such as the fridge.

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Reviews (14) Questions (0)

14 Comments

Mona K. September 5, 2018
Sounds yummy going to try making some today ! :)
 
krikri September 5, 2015
Has anyone tried this with green grapes? Is there a reason we never see green grape jam/jelly?
 
Author Comment
Emiko September 5, 2015
So funny you just asked this as 2 days ago I did this exact recipe with green grapes and it's great. I used Ansonica grapes which are white wine grapes from Southern Tuscany where I live - it turned out a beautiful honey-like colour and is delicious with soft cheeses like Camembert. Had it for breakfast this morning with ricotta on toast too!
 
krikri September 5, 2015
Thanks for the quick response! Here in Portugal it's Grape Season (you get a buzz just driving past the local wine co-operativa). As soon as we get through one gifted box of grapes, another neighbour shows up with more! I have my work cut out for me.
 
Author Comment
Emiko September 5, 2015
Yes it's wine harvest time now in Tuscany too so plenty of interesting grapes around! Just a note. I used a little over 1.5 kg of grapes and ended up with just 1 jar of jam (after straining out the seeds and skins).
 
krikri September 7, 2015
I used a kg of grapes and ended up with a small bowlful. Sorry, no exact measurements - breakfast cereal sized. I let it go a bit long so it's darker than honey, but still delicious! We had it the way you suggested, with camembert on crackers for dessert! Thanks so much for the recipe!
 
Douglas B. November 10, 2014
I juiced the grapes in my Breville Juicer and used the pulp for the jam. I also added crushed cardamon. perfection in a jar !
 
charlotte October 8, 2014
can this be done with other fruits, say blueberries? :)
 
Author Comment
Emiko October 9, 2014
good question - I have only done this with grapes but I'm sure the same principle could apply to many fruits, simply boiling them down to a thick compote, in a way. The only thing with blueberries is that they do not have the natural sweetness of grapes so they may be quite tart and you would likely have to keep these only in the refrigerator.
 
Douglas B. October 2, 2014
does this jam require refrigeratoration or may this be stored in a dry cabnet ?
 
Author Comment
Emiko October 3, 2014
Hi, the answer to this is in the notes section of the recipe right under the photo (you have to click on "more" to read the full thing!). Hope that helps!
 
MissChristina October 11, 2014
Hi Emiko - I read the author notes under the photo several times.. and there is no info about refrigeration/freezer storage there, but I do see the short sentence in step 3 of the instructions ("Store in a cool, dark place, such as the fridge.") But that sounds more like a suggestion, rather than an instruction. Can I store extra jars in the freezer?
 
Author Comment
Emiko October 15, 2014
You can treat this like you would most any jam except that it probably won't store as long, say, in a pantry. I personally don't have much experience freezing jams but this will certainly last well in the fridge when sealed properly.
 
MissChristina July 20, 2015
Hi Emiko - I just wanted to update you to let you know that the frozen jam turned out fine. I used all frozen jams within 3 months, as that is usually when frozen foods start to break down in their nutrients. The consistency was fine after thawing, possibly a little more runny, but still tasted great. I would really like to try canning or preserving your recipe -- would you have any experience in this? I've been reading about canning, and most recipes require sugar and pectin/lemon juice for a successful preserving process. If I omit sugar, as per your recipe, and only add pectin or lemon juice, will that be enough to preserve the grape jam for a longer period? I appreciate any feedback you may have. Thanks!